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Thread: Gael warning in the Congo

  1. #913
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    Hang on ... You've freighted the bike by ferry but you're flying?. Did I get that wrong? No passengers allowed on.the.ferry?
    Purveyor of the finest dreary verbal diahrrea.(sic)

  2. #914
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    Quote Originally Posted by Posh Pete View Post
    Hang on ... You've freighted the bike by ferry but you're flying?. Did I get that wrong? No passengers allowed on.the.ferry?
    Correct. The ship Alexio have no passenger capacity unlike it's predecessor. The Salerno ferry from Ashdod (Grimaldi line) does take passengers but Salerno is too far West for me and it takes 8-9 days they say!

    Jim thanks for the tip! I have ridden by there (Thessaloniki) in the past but not stopped. Maybe this time?


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  3. #915
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    So as I while away a pleasant Shabbat where there is little going on, I thought I would set out (for food or ill) what's been done to the GS since it left Blighty just over two years and 44,000 kms ago.

    This is all from memory as all the papers are at sea with the bike.

    UK: new front TKC80 fitted
    Marrakech: rear TKC fitted
    Gambia: removed muffs and gaucho as getting a bit warm
    Bamako, Mali: engine oil, filter, final drive oil, battery replacement. Ignition barrel rebuilt.
    Yaounde, Cameroon: oil and filter. New TKC80s fitted
    Dolisie, Congo-Brazzaville: ECU repaired (burnt out diodes).
    Pointe Noire, Congo: Fuel pump and filter replaced; also new sumo guard securing bolts (v expensive!).
    Soyo, Angola: fitted uses replacement ECU in case the Xonfo soldered one was fragile (still have it!)
    Luanda, Angola: flywheel replaced after mechanics achieves a hydraulic lock and shredded teeth off the original
    Windhoek, Namibia: Both oils, oil filter, spark plugs (primary and secondary). Starter motor stripped and servived. New coil stick. New TKC80s. Failed Throttle position sensor replaced with used item.
    Nairobi, Kenya: indicator and tail light lenses replaced, new oil filler rings fitted, front disk resecured.
    Jeddah, KSA: Oil and filter change and silicone fix to seat for oil filler plug.

    So the bike is a little like Trigger's broom but (most importantly for me) was starting and running well when I out it on SS Alexio..

    I am encouraged that the East Coast run has been pretty trouble free (except the leaky oil filler cap) so hoping the gremlins - perhaps triggered by the extremes of Mauritania heat and my poorly maintained battery (my bad!) and resulting voltage spikes leading to other problems?

    It will need new tyres and an oil and filter change once I am at Motocamp Bulgaria, by which time it will have done close to 100,000 miles in total.



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  4. #916
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    Well that wasn't so difficult!

    ! (It's not often I get to say that so I am savouring it).

    Caught an early train (0625) from Haifa to Ben Gurion airport. Being an Israeli Monday morning it was rammed but for to the airport by 8 and after a 15 minutes bus ride to Terminal 1 which Ryanair and Wizz use (and which was perfectly OK BTW) I was through the thorough security and all done by 0845 leaving me a couple of hours wait for the flight.

    Once in Athens airport I took a taxi 35 kms to the port as on Sunday there was little alternative.

    My lodgings were clean and spacious and (by Israel standard) cheap. And I could see my ship had arrived, just visible from my balcony.
    .

    I had been warned by the ships first officer in Haifa that Customs were closed until 0800 Monday so I should not rush. So I resigned my self to another dull Sunday (to match the previous day's Shabbat in Haifa).

    Nonetheless I decided to take a closer look.



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  5. #917
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    There was the GS cosying up to a similar colour fork lift truck
    So I found a way in and ambled over to the security box where two chaos said to come over. I told them it was my bike and they said: 'show us your ID and the log book and you can take it away now'!!

    So I quickly did that, signed an official receipt and I was away in under 5 minutes!

    Here's the bike back at my digs
    I had mentally set aside a good part of Monday morning for Customs paperwork so this was a real win! And they had literally just offloaded the bike so it had missed the earlier heavy rain...glad I wasn't going to have a soggy sheepskin.

    And the good ship Alexio is riding a lot higher in the water now the GS has been offliaded



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  6. #918
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    Welcome back to Europe....

    Phil

  7. #919
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    Quote Originally Posted by barak666 View Post
    Welcome back to Europe....

    Phil
    Thanks Phil!

    Today was a cool but beautiful ride along the coast of Greece


    Sadly much on motorway and so marred by the toll gates every 10 or 20 kms...thank heavens for contactless credit cards so no messing around with small change with a truck revving behind you in the queue.

    I had forgotten these tolls...each only 1 or 2 € but the payment a PITA.

    Now comfortably installed by the sea in Kavala...after a hot shower to warm me up again!

    North tomorrow into Bulgaria


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  8. #920
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    Good progress and a delight to have an easy customs extraction! Tomorrow should be your last day of riding on this trip?

  9. #921
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern jock View Post
    Good progress and a delight to have an easy customs extraction! Tomorrow should be your last day of riding on this trip?
    Correct.

    And 4 minutes compares well with 4 hours at Jeddah port.

    Already mulling some ideas for next year sometime (warm!) of riding from Bulgaria up to places not visited like Moldavia, Ukraine, Bielorus (Sp?) Lithuania Estonia and on to Finland and Arctic Circle. Those are all new countries to me and would complete my personal 'Arctic Circle to Capetown and back' - since I rode my electraglide to the Arctic circle a few years back...

    Just thoughts...lots of hours in the saddle to reflect on these


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  10. #922
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    Simon, a truly inspirational RR throughout your African Odyssey - many thanks for posting it
    Enjoy a few well earned beers with Polly and the gang at Bulgaria Motocamp.
    D

  11. #923
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    This is the pinnacle of ride reports!

  12. #924
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinten View Post
    This is the pinnacle of ride reports!
    Agree!

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  13. #925
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    Thank you all gentlemen for your kind feedback. And thanks to Drumacoon Lad in particular for originally suggesting 'a short run down to The Gambia'....which clearly went spectacularly off plan!


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  14. #926
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    So this morning I enjoyed a good buffet at my hotel - good also because it yielded for my lunch a spectacular ham and cheese sandwich (of my making) two hard boiled eggs, a slab of chocolate cake and a flask of coffee. (Us adventure riders do get peckish about 11).

    Then I did the most dangerous riding manoeuvre of the day...getting out of the subterranean car park with its 30 degree curving initial ramp. .

    I just about made it though I had to stop in the turn - and thanked heavens it wasn't the kind I saw in Iran where they use marble FFS!

    Then I refuelles nearby at one of the petrol stations set into an apartment block... I'd be horrified to live there...above a petrol tank, essentially.

    Anyway I would my way back up from Kavala which is set at the bottom of a series of hairpins which run through the town.

    Farewell to the historic castle



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  15. #927
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    I ride East along the motorway before turning Nirth towards the mountains. I had put on my Zambian hiviz waterproof coat as I didn't want to freeze for a second day.

    The weather was lovely as I climbed to the Bulgarian border which I quickly crossed. The autumn foliage was fabulous...will post a photo from other phone.

    But then I entered a tunnel and emerges to cold fig which accompanied me for the next few hours.

    The roads were worse than in Greece and as I went through villages I was reminded of the horrors of rundown Soviet era architecture.

    I stopped to refuel where there was a MasterCard and Visa sign...the guy serving saw the cars with horror and phones a friend who knew how to work the card reader. He arrived in a few minutes but it declined both my MasterCard and Visa. I had no Bg Lev so offered Euro which seems readily accepted here. (Mental note: find an ATM!).




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  16. #928
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    Wonderful mountains...but very rundown housing

    But the bulk of my 440 kms ride was in great roads with lots of bends. A welcome change from yesterday's motorway slog. And Bulgaria uses a vignette system so no rolls on the road...and even better, motorcycles are exempt.

    Fuel is also cheap at just over the euro per litre...and they seem occasionally to have 100 octane...must seek that out to fill the tank beofre I lay the bike up.

    And in a change to my plan I decided I would stay tonight at historic Veliko Tarnovo (a corner capital of the Bulgarian kingdom I read), about 25 Kms from Motocamp (it's their off season so no food available there). Instead I shall ride to Motocamp after breakfast tomorrow...my flight is not until early evening.

    Thanks Booking.com for another good billet in the centre of the town:



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